GEP  Vol.7 No.5 , May 2019
Spectral Features for the Detection of Land Cover Changes
Derivation of more sensitive spectral features from the satellite data is immensely important for better retrieving land cover information and change monitoring, such as changes in snow covered area, forests, and barren lands as some examples from local to the global scale. The major objectives of this paper are to present the potential of water-resistant snow index (WSI) for the detection of snow cover changes in the Himalayas, extant two composite images, biophysical image composite (BIC) and forest cover composite (FCC) for the detection of changes in barren lands and forested areas respectively, and two newly designed composite images, water cover composite (WCC) and urban cover composite (UCC) for the detection of changes in water and urban areas respectively. This research implemented the image compositing technique for the detection and visualization of land cover changes (water, forest, barren, and urban) with respect to local administrative areas where a significant land cover change occurred from 2001 to 2016. A case study was also conducted in the Himalayan region to identify snow cover changes from 2001 to 2015 using the WSI. Analysis of the annual variation of the snow cover in the Himalayas indicated a decreasing trend of the snow cover. Consequently, the downstream areas are more likely to suffer from snow related hazards such as glacial outbursts, avalanches, landslides and floods. The changes in snow cover in the Himalayas may bring significant hydrophysical and livelihood changes in the downstream area including the Mekong Delta. Therefore, the countries sharing the Himalayan region should focus on adapting the severe impacts of snow cover changes. The image compositing approach presented in the research demonstrated promising performance for the detection and visualization of other land cover changes as well.
Cite this paper: Sharma, R. , Nguyen, H. , Gharechelou, S. , Bai, X. , Nguyen, L. and Tateishi, R. (2019) Spectral Features for the Detection of Land Cover Changes. Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, 7, 81-93. doi: 10.4236/gep.2019.75009.

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